The Mixed Tape

Sundance 2010 Day Two by Nolan Wilson Goff
January 28, 2010, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Film, Reviews, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , ,

Great second day at the dance. We saw some good films, one that disappointed, but all three were enjoyable. Spotted Oscar nominated actress Melissa Leo at a screening of of one of her two films (The Dry Land, Welcome to the Rileys). Starting to grow quite fond of this place, and it will be difficult to leave Sunday. Seen 8 films in two days, so this is alot like paradise for me. Right now, sitting at a private Q&A for The Dry Land with cast/crew.


The Dry Land (directed by Ryan Piers Williams) review by Nolan

Ryan Piers Williams’ story of a soldier returning home from Iraq, is both gripping and visceral. James, the soldier, immediately begins suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, and the film is his journey through this condition. The visceral story is reflected in the handheld cinematography which adequately shows west Texas and plunges us into the character’s world. The performances are decent, although Wilmer Valderamma supporting performance is well above average. The story is good, but too similar to the many war dramas released recently. Maybe I am just tired of war movies? The Hurt Locker, Brothers, and In the Valley of Elah all deal with relationships outside of war and the traumas brought on by experiences overseas. I do respect the filmmaker’s intention and think this a good movie that will bring light to much needed changes in how the military handles and cares for our soldiers. After all, they are fighting for US.

(Score: 7/10)

Buried (directed by Rodrigo Cortes) review by Trevor

Imagine you are in a box 6 feet in the ground, and no, your not dead. Yet. You are Ryan Reynolds a truck driver in Iraq help for ransom. We follow Paul and the camera never leaves him: the whole movie is inside the coffin. The cinematography  was riveting with such a complex set ups, some camera moves seemed impossible. The lighting was so realistic with 4 practical lights including a lighter, cell phone, glow stick, and a flashlight. The way these were used was very creative and very dramatic. Unfortunately the film as a whole is lacking.  Its novelty is also its downfall. We stay too long in the coffin and it would have worked better as a short film. It is a great thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat (sometimes). But I wish I could have walked away with something. Instead, I left empty handed.

(Score: 6.5/10)

Douchebag (directed by Drake Doremus) review by Nolan

This poorly photographed film is without a doubt my favorite film at Sundance so far.  Many could describe it as  an ugly film, and that wouldn’t be far from the truth.  What is incredible about this film, is not technical, but rather in the narrative. The film is an entirely original story exploring the relationship of two brothers and how they tear down the wall that stands between them. The protagonist, Sam, is an interesting study in identity and what people choose to hide or reveal to one another.  The film features hilarious performances and dialogue, which kept the audience entertained throughout. Technically awfully, but beautifully written and acted, Douchebag is a must see if it finds a distributor.

(Score: 8/10)

Next Up For Us:

  • Gasland (documentary)
  • Hesher (starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt)
  • It’s A Wonderful Afterlife
  • Tucker and Dale vs. Evil